Written in India in the early 8th century AD, ‘S=antideva’s Bodhicary=avat=ara addresses the profound desire to become a Buddha and rescue all beings from suffering. The person who acts upon such a desire is a Bodhisattva. ‘S=antideva not only makes plain what the Bodhisattva must do and become, he also invokes the powerful feelings of aspiration that underlie such a commitment, employing language which has inspired Buddists ever since it first appeared. Indeed, his book has long been regarded as one of the most popular accounts of the Buddhist’s spiritual path. Important as a manual of training among Mah=ay=ana Buddhists, especially in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this text continues to be used as the basis for teaching by modern Buddhist teachers. This new translation from the original language provides detailed annotations explaining allusions and technical references. Also, the Introduction both serve to locate ‘S=antideva’s work in its proper context, and for the first time explain its structure.
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